LIFESCI 3BB3: Neurobiology of Disease

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dr. Piskuric (Fall, 2022)

Lifesci 3BB3 content is interesting. You learn about addiction, MS, epilepsy, autism and neurodegenerative disorders (in general). You get to learn the neural circuitry behind addiction (the reward circuit) for example. Though its interesting, it is difficult to memorize. There is alot of processes mentioned and you must know it meticulously (ex. you need to know all processes of the reward circuit and those influencing them to a high detailed level). So definitely not bird and there’s alot to learn, but I enjoyed learning about it.

The prof’s slides are well designed, with adequate information and keywords on the slide. The lectures were also recorded on Echo360, so you can pay attention in class and take notes later. For the most part, the prof explained the content well, and is able to gauge whether the class understands or whether she needs to reiterate. The prof also has office hours, which can be used for further clarification.

Quizzes are given, but if you do poorly on them, their weighting is shifted to the exam, so there is no stress, just do it so that you can get the feedback and the correct answers for you to study for the test/exam. The midterm test MC were basically knowledge questions straight from the slides, so I found them fair. The short answers were mostly about explaining a process, so you have to be meticulous, but you know what processes to memorize, so I think they are fair too.

Though the content is fairly difficult, the group project I believe is more difficult. You have to create a literature review that contributes to the scientific society (in other words, provide new insights). Its very difficult to come up with such research questions and others also expressed difficulty, with some having to swap to a new topic after the draft and a few with only a few weeks before the due date of the final. You and your group have to put effort into researching and crafting the literature review. It’s not to say the prof did not help, they provide some opportunities to get feedback, its just that the expectation is a bit high. 

On top of this, you must afterwards use your literature review to create some other media (book, website, video etc.) that explains to your audience something from your literature review. This also takes time to really refine. I recommend getting feedback from the prof. My other hint is to be creative. Choose a creative media, something out of the box would be more likely to impress the prof. If you cannot, you can make a stereotypical media (ex. website) and design it in a creative way. Creativity and explaining the science in a dumbed-down way are key.

Overall, I say the content is interesting and the course is well designed to support you through the difficult parts. If you put in a good amount of effort, you can 12 it.

Textbook: Not Required

Methods of Evaluation: Tests, Exams, Reflections, Group Projects

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